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Monday, May 18, 2009

Problems At Target?

I am seeing more and more posts, and comments about the way Target employees are treating people who use coupons, and how many Target employees are frequently not following their own Corporate Coupon Policy. 

I've run into a few problems myself at Target, some minor, some major.
 [Like being escorted out of the store by Asset Protection for trying to buy a trial sized Axe product with a Manufacturer Coupon that did not specifically exclude trial size items.
That was both infuriating and embarrassing! 

My most recent problem at Target was on Saturday at the Cypress, Ca. location. I was buying the Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs and the Nabisco 100 calorie packs using both a Target Store Coupon AND a Manufacturer Coupon which Target Corporate Policy allows. However, the young [shall we say less than pleasant] cashier informed me that NONE of my Manufacturer Coupons would be accepted because the items that I purchased were not the EXACT same items pictured on the coupon. 
[which is odd because the Target Store Coupons were accepted although I didn't purchase the EXACT item pictured... AND the wording on the MFQ's stated, "ON ANY" ...I digress.

Honestly, I tried not to scoff, or show any form of irritation. I told him that I had never heard that policy before, and I went on with my transaction, and just took my coupons back, apologizing. 
[A dollar saved is not worth getting ugly over, nor inconveniencing everyone in line behind me, who is already upset at the fact, that at 2pm on a Saturday there were only 3 checkout lanes open in a busy Target...

I called Target Guest Relations while in the store, but alas they are closed on Saturdays. [darn!] So I left, with my items, and still descent savings, and I emailed Target Corporate a [very] long, detailed, email complete with locations, times, dates, and names. I asked for a "personal" email response, which surprisingly, this time I got! 
[This was my 3rd email in 3 months in regards to Target Corporate Coupon Policies

I was planning on going back to Target today [never made it] but before I left the house to run my errands, I called Target Guest Relations, this time with a reference number in hand. I spoke to the nicest woman on the other end, who answered ALL of my questions, apologized for my experience on Saturday, and again informed me what the Target Coupon Policy is! She also logged a complaint on my behalf [without my asking] in regards to the experience where Asset Protection was called, and then escorted me out of the store! She was appalled that a Manager would do that!
 She was a fellow coupon diva, so score for us couponers!! 

I'd like to pass onto all of you what information I got today in regards to the Target Corporate Coupon Policy:
HERE is a copy of the email I got.
And this is what I was told today by the kind woman at Guest Relations:

Me: Can you use a Manufacturer Coupon combined with a Target Store Coupon?
Woman: Yes.

Me: Does Target accept Internet Printable Coupons?
Woman: Yes, as long as they have a barcode, expiration date, and redemption information and terms listed, and they need to be 'readable'

Me: When using a Manufacturer Coupon, must I buy ONLY the item pictured on the coupon?
Woman: No, I've never heard that, and I've used coupons for a long time. However there are coupons that specify what sizes you must buy, or what sizes you cannot buy.
I explained to her what I was trying to do with the Oscar Mayer and Nabisco items, and what the cashier told me: 
She said, He was not following Target Policy. Cashiers must follow what is written on the coupons. If the coupon states 'ANY', than you are allowed to purchase 'ANY' not only what is pictured on the coupon.

Me: Can I use a Manufacturer Coupon for a trial or travel [there IS a difference] size item, so long as the coupon does not specifically exclude trial or travel size items?
Woman: Absolutely. Again, cashiers need to be reading the wording on the coupons, and if it does not specifically exclude those items, than it's perfectly acceptable.

Me: Can I use a Coupon on an item that is either on sale, clearance, or regularly LESS than the Coupon amount?
Woman: Yes. In the case that the item being purchased is less than the Coupon amount we CANNOT under ANY circumstances give cash back. However the cashier can, and should, adjust down the amount of the coupon. If they don't know how, any Lead, Supervisor, or Manager can, and should assist them. If you have any problems, you can always ask them to call Guest Relations.

Me: I noticed that with the Oscar Mayer items I was purchasing the Register beeped and a notice popped up saying, "Items not purchased" when I did purchase the items, and quantity stated in the coupon.
Woman: Sometimes the registers don't cooperate. The cashier should double check the items, and the wording on the coupon, and if everything is correct, they should push through the coupon. Or ask a Lead or Manager to push through the coupon.

Me: What should I do if I encounter these same problems again while shopping at Target?
Woman: You have a couple of different options. You can ask for the Lead on Duty, who should be able assist you in fixing the problem. Or you can ask for the Store Manager and if they are there, they should be able to assist you. However, you can always ask the Lead on Duty, any of the Supervisors, or Managers to call Guest Relations from the Store, and we will instruct them what to do, and how to push through the coupons. 

Me: Should I ask them to call while still in line, or should I ask the cashier to set my purchase aside, void it, and walk over to Customer Service for help resolving the issue?
Woman: Well you can have a Lead call Guest Relations from the Register Lane, we've had that happen before, but I recommend putting your stuff aside, and going to Customer Service, to be considerate of the other Target Shoppers. 
[I agree with her 100% on that!! Regardless of the situation ALWAYS be POLITE, KIND, and CONSIDERATE of the people around you!]

She also said to make sure that if you choose to call Guest Relations on your own, try to do it from INSIDE the store, as they are better able to help you resolve the issue at hand, and they are able to speak to the Supervisors or Managers right away, and instruct them on the Coupon Policy, rather than having to do it all through emails! It's MUCH more effective that way!
For any of you who like to shop at Target, and either use or are starting to use coupons, I HIGHLY recommend you program Target Guest Relations' phone number into your cell phones, or have it on you when you go to Target. Sadly there might be a time where you run into a problem. 

I know this is a lengthy post, but I felt it absolutely necessary! I enjoy finding great savings at Target, and walking out with bags of Freebies, all because I'm a smart shopper! However I don't enjoy the hassle, and border line harassment I've experienced consistently at Target, and if I can help inform all of you, and help you be prepared in these cases, we all come out on top!!

I also recommend printing out a copy of the [third] email sent to me from Target Corporate and keep it in your coupon stash so you can pull it out if necessary, to KINDLY inform the employee in question of their Company Policy.

I don't think I can stress that enough!!
  Especially if you're Christian
The world is watching us keenly, not missing anything! 
Is saving a few dollars really worth looking like a raving lunatic, screaming, shouting, being angry, ugly, rude, and mean, further perpetrating the bad wrap for all of us who use coupons? 

Will that Glorify the Lord? 
Will that win souls for Christ?

In today's economy people are HURTING! They are STRUGGLING! When they see you with your coupons, saving LOTS of money, they want to know how too! That is the perfect opportunity to BLESS THEM, and SHARE THE LOVE OF CHRIST WITH THEM!!